Alabama Oyster Harvest Opens October 4

Pursuant to Section 9-12-28, Code of Alabama 1975 as stated by Rule 220-3-.02, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (ADCNR) Marine Resources Division (MRD) will open certain areas of public oyster bottoms for weekday harvest beginning on Monday, October 4, 2021, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Additionally, weekend harvest will be allowed from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the following four Saturdays: October 9, 16, 23 and 30.

Harvesters can view their locations and the open harvest areas with Alabama’s Oyster Management Station (OMS) Oyster Grid Map. A link to the map is available at outdooralabama.com/oysterharvest.

Harvesters are reminded to visit the OMS located across from Jemison’s Bait and Tackle at 16871 Dauphin Island Parkway to drop off their OMS ID cards and confirm which grids are open for harvest.

Heron Bay, Cedar Point East, and Cedar Point West grids will open on October 4. Grids will close based on evaluations of the harvest by MRD staff.

“In 2020, catchers were able to harvest just over 22,000 sacks of oysters and we were open for 47 days,” said Scott Bannon, MRD Director. “Based on our survey data for 2021, we feel that we should have a similar harvest this year. There were days where more than 100 boats were out working and that is good for the community. It provides jobs for catchers and processors as well as providing a great product for consumers. We are continuing with limited Saturdays this year to allow for young people, who would normally be in school during regular harvest times, to have the opportunity to harvest oysters.”

New for 2021: Recreational oyster catchers must report their catch and purchase a recreational harvest tag at the OMS station. Recreational harvesters may take up to 100 legal-size (minimum 3 inches) oysters in the same areas and during the same times as commercial harvest. No license is required but commercial and recreational oysters may not be transported together on a vessel.

All commercial oyster catchers, regardless of age, must have a commercial oyster catcher’s license in order to participate in the harvest. For information about licensing and regulations, please contact MRD at (251) 861-2882 or visit the MRD office located at 2 North Iberville Drive, on Dauphin Island.

Date/Time of Opening: Monday through Friday, beginning October 4, 2021, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., and selected Saturdays, from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Oyster Harvest Limits: Commercial oyster catchers may harvest six (6) sacks per person/vessel, per day regardless of how many licensed harvesters are aboard. Recreational oyster catchers may harvest 100 legal size oysters per person, per day. Recreational harvest may only occur in areas and at times that are open for commercial harvest.

Harvest Method: Tong and Hand Only

Management Station Location: Cedar Point Cutoff across from Jemison’s Bait and Tackle in Coden, Alabama

Management Station Hours: Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Management Station Contact: (251) 257-9966